World Cup schedule, groups and brackets

Each point represents a game

Each point represents a game

Each point represents a game

Each point represents a game


The 2022 World Cup kicks off in Qatar this November and has been moved from its usual place on the sporting calendar to avoid the summer heat.

The US men’s national soccer team, led by coach Gregg Berhalter and star forward Christian Pulisic, qualified for the 2022 World Cup, an improvement on a disastrous and unsuccessful 2018 campaign.

USA is placed in group “B” with England, Wales and Iran. England and the United States meet in a high-profile clash in Qatar on November 25, the day after Thanksgiving. The Americans open their World Cup campaign against Wales on November 21.

The presence of Qatar, a host football team that has never qualified for the World Cup, as the leading team threatened to make Group A stand out. But the draw allowed a pair of black opponents: the Netherlands and Senegal. .

The Dutch, three-time World Cup winners, have re-emerged as a force in UEFA thanks to such world-class talents as Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong. Meanwhile, Senegal won the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year and boasted the captaincy of Bayern Munich star Sadio Mane. While any nation that makes it through the South American qualifiers shouldn’t be underestimated, Ecuador looks to be a long shot from the group.

Analysis of group A

Having recently been kicked out of the UEFA Nations League, England have every chance of being World Cup contenders after finishing third in Russia and reaching the finals of Euro 2020. Tottenham striker Harry Kane sets the tone, Chelsea winger Raheem Sterling keeps opponents off balance and rising stars such as Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Mason Mount are ready for the world stage.

On paper, the United States should be the final favorites to join England in the promotion: the Americans have won both the CONCACAF Nations League and the Gold Cup and boast an unprecedented wealth of young stars trying themselves in Europe’s top leagues, including Christian Chelsea’s Pulisic, Juventus’ Weston McKenney and AC Milan’s Serginho Dest. But a tough qualifying run and September’s friendlies could open the door for veteran-heavy Wales, who will be competing in their first World Cup since 1958, and an Iran side that dominated their Asian qualifying campaign.

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Analysis of group B

After Lionel Messi finally led Argentina to an international title last summer as the Albiceleste edged out rivals Brazil for the Copa America crown, can the 35-year-old icon seal his legacy with the elusive World Cup title? Qatar has more interesting legends, if any.

Argentina and Argentina are joined by a Mexico team that has fallen on hard times – failing to win the Concacaf Nations League or Gold Cup or top the region in World Cup qualifying – but still in the first leg of the knockout round. they want to win. Since 1986, the Polish team, led by Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski, winner of two previous FIFA awards, is also competing with Saudi Arabia for a place in the playoffs.

Analysis of group C

After losing in the second round of last year’s European Championship, France will be looking to get back on track and become the first country to repeat as World Cup champions since Pele and Brazil in 1962. : Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, a teenage prodigy four years ago, has blossomed into a breakout star, while prolific Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has returned from a five-year international exile.

However, the sentimental favorite of the bunch is a Denmark team led by Manchester United playmaker Christian Eriksen – back and thriving after suffering a heart attack in their Euro 2020 opener against the Danes. The group is rounded out by Tunisia and Australia, two teams that have made it past the group stage just once and have never won in the knockout stages.

Analysis of group D

Only one group in Qatar contains multiple previous World Cup winners and that is Group E. It just so happens that the two past winners aren’t too far off from their most recent triumphs either: Spain were champions in South Africa in 2010, while Germany took the crown in Brazil in 2014. Both squads have changed since their World Cup campaigns, but the two European rivals will certainly be fighting for top spot in the group.

The other two teams here have experience playing against perennial rivals on the big stage. Costa Rica, who reached the quarter-finals in 2014, were the last of the 32 teams to qualify for this year’s tournament, sealing their place after finishing fourth in Concacaf and winning the play-offs. Japan reached the knockout stage in 2018 and beat the United States last month.

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Analysis of group E

For the past four years, Belgium has topped the FIFA rankings. The Red Devils regularly feature some of the best players in the world, from star midfielders Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) and Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) to Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku, who played at the 2018 World Cup. He was the second leading scorer. Despite all this talent, one big prize eluded the Belgians. In what will likely be the final lap of their ‘Golden Generation’, they will look to change that in Qatar.

After finishing Concacaf qualifying, Canada is in its first World Cup in more than 30 years, led by a talented crop of young players. Morocco have seen some turmoil since their quarter-final exit at the AFCON, but Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyoch is back after being sidelined by the national team. Then there’s Croatia: just four years on from a trip to the World Cup finals in Russia, this could be the last major tournament for the Golden Generation.

Analysis of group F

Brazil is more than just a favorite to win Group G. It’s a popular pick to win the entire tournament — and for good reason. The top-ranked Brazilians will compete for their country’s sixth World Cup (and first since 2002) against one of the deepest teams in Qatar. With stars like PSG’s Neymar and Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior, A Seleção It enters the World Cup with just one loss in its last 29 matches – against rivals Argentina in July 2021.

It will be difficult to stop a team as talented as Brazil from taking first place here, but the other three nations will be fighting for second place in the group in the knockout stages. Serbia is a good candidate to fight for this spot, coming to Qatar behind strikers Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) and Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus). Switzerland reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 in the summer of 2021, beating reigning world champions France, while Cameroon will be making their first trip beyond the group stage since 1990.

Analysis of group G

This group is one of the more difficult to predict among the eight in Qatar. Favorites here, Portugal needed two wins in the playoffs to even secure their place at the World Cup. This could be the last major international competition for Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, the 37-year-old Manchester United star, and all eyes will be on whether he and Argentina’s Lionel Messi can renew their rivalry one last time in the knockout stages. .

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Uruguay has a talented squad of champions, fronted by the entertaining but controversial striker Luis Suarez, but it remains to be seen whether it can put the pieces together to make a deep run from the group stage. South Korea will ride on the power of Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-Min, one of the world’s best goalscorers and biggest stars. After a rocky exit from the AFCON earlier this year, Ghana will be hoping it can turn the corner towards a stronger showing in Qatar.

Analysis of group H

The group stage concludes on December 2, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the finals the following day. In the round of 16, the teams that finished first in their group are paired with the teams that finished second in their respective group, so teams from Group A face teams from Group B, C against D, and so on. Once those matchups are confirmed and the brackets determined, each team’s potential path to the finals becomes clearer. From here on, matches will not end in a draw, so FIFA’s overtime and shootout rules will apply. To avoid too many replays, teams from the same group will be placed on opposite sides of the bracket, so they cannot meet again until the final or the third-place match if they lose in the semifinals.

The USA men’s national team will play in the most balanced group of the World Cup “B”. According to the FIFA ranking, the highest team in the group, England, is fifth and the lowest is Iran, only 15 places. , which is the 20th. By contrast, in Group H, where Portugal are 9th and Ghana 61st, there are 52 places between the two extremes.

Eight groups of four teams from six FIFA confederations will participate.

North, Central America and the Caribbean

Eight groups of four teams from six FIFA confederations will participate.

And Costa Rica (31) or New Zealand (101)

North, Central America and the Caribbean

Eight groups of four teams from six FIFA confederations will participate.

North, Central America and the Caribbean

Eight groups of four teams from six FIFA confederations will participate.

North, Central America and the Caribbean


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